Microsoft Surface RT price cut helps tablet sell out at Walmart

Faced with sluggish sales, Microsoft decided to slash the price of the 32GB Surface RT to $349, which apparently was a wise choice.

When Microsoft announced the 32GB Surface RT, it offered twice the storage of Apple's 16GB iPad for the same $449. That price proved to be too high, however, forcing Microsoft to drop it to $349. The new price seems to be just right.

Microsoft unveiled its Surface RT tablets in a bid to challenge the market-leading iPad. It built the 10.6 -inch tablet with a scratch-resistant glass display, its Vapor Mg case is similar in feel to the iPad's aluminum case, and its $100+ touch keyboard covers add a sleek way to always have a keyboard on your tablet. Microsoft tried to market the Surface RT as being superior to the iPad - its commercials highlighted everything the Surface RT could do, while Siri would constantly apologize for not having such features on the iPad. The ads always ended by showing the difference in price. The features and difference, however, failed to impress consumers.

Sales of the Surface RT have been very slow, with Microsoft CEO, Steve Balmer recently admitting that the Surface RT was a flop and that Microsoft built more than they could ever sell. That's the reason Microsoft just revealed in its earnings that the company took a $900 million loss due to "Surface RT inventory adjustments." The company decided to lower the price of the Surface RT tablet and it appears that its new $349 price tag should have been its original price point. ZDNET is reporting that Walmart has completely sold out of the 32GB Surface RT. This is the first time that this has happened since the Surface RT hit retail stores. Walmart is likely to receive new stock, since Microsoft is trying to deal with excess inventory.

The Surface RT features a 10.6-inch 1366 X 768 ClearType HD Display, runs Windows RT and includes Microsoft Office Home and Student 2013 RT. The tablet is powered by a quad-core NVIDIA Tegra 3 processor, includes 32GB of internal storage, 2GB of RAM, 720p HD LifeCam rear- and front-facing cameras, Wi-Fi a/b/g/n, Bluetooth 4.0, full size USB 2.0 port, a microSDXC expansion slot, HD video out port, and a 31.5Wh battery.

It remains to be seen if the $349 price will be enough of a price cut to offload the estimated 6 million units that are sitting on shelves.

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